Position of direct and indirect objects

Some verbs can be followed by two objects – an indirect object and a direct object.

The indirect object usually refers to a person and comes first.

He gave me a nice gift for Christmas. (indirect object – me; direct object – nice gift)

Let me get you some coffee. (Indirect object – you; direct object – some coffee)

Verbs that can be followed by two objects include:

Bring, buy, cost, get, give, leave, lend, make, offer, owe, pass, pay, play, promise, read, refuse, send, show, sing, take, teach, tell, wish, write

I told him a story.

Can you lend me a pound?

I wish you a happy birthday.

She taught me a lesson.

I bought him a good camera.

She made me some coffee.

We have seen that the indirect object usually comes before the direct object, but it can be put after the direct object if that is necessary. In this case we usually use the preposition to or for.

I bought a good camera for him.

She made some coffee for me.

She told a secret to me.

When both objects are pronouns, it is common to put the indirect object last.

Give them to her. (NOT Give her them.)